Troops get ready to head overseas


HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — There are sixty-five helicopter maintenance specialists, Connecticut soldiers set to deploy to Afghanistan and Kuwait. About two-thirds of the unit has served overseas before.

“This is my first deployment I really don’t know what to expect,” said Zach Bruss.

Bruss says he will learn as he goes, which means learning how to say goodbye to loved ones like his mom, Nancy Bruss, who was a little surprised soldiers were still being called up to the Middle East.

“I think he’ll be very safe where he is going, but the world is not a very safe place right now, there is always that element of fear,” said Nancy Bruss.

This is the fourth rotation for the unit and some of the soldiers have made all four. Commander Vince Vannoorbeeck is one of them and he says he will be looking out for the rookies.

“I know the base, I’ve been there before, it hasn’t changed that much in four to five years, but the mission itself is what changes dramatically and like they say the enemy has a vote,” said Vannoorbeeck.

The soldiers can’t say exactly what they’re going to be doing overseas, they’re not allowed to, however they are mechanics and they do work on helicopters. Vannoorbeeck says they not only work on helicopters at the base, they go out into the field.

“One of our primary mission is to recover aircrafts that have been damaged, whether it be from a crash or enemy fire, we are the folks that go in there and take a look at it and see if it’s salvageable what do the repairs look like,” said Vannoorbeeck.

They will be deployed overseas for nine months.

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